Pata Racing Team Aprilia launched its 2011 World Superbike entry today at the Verona Motor Bike Expo in Italy. The largely white Aprilia has a large PATA logo on the side with accents of green and blue and other sponsor decals. As expected, Noriyuki Haga will be the sole-rider for the team that formerly fielded Jakub Smrz first on a Ducati then Aprilia for the 2010 season. The bike was unveiled by Team President Daniele Carli and Team Manager Marco Borciani, who also underscored the previous announcement that Aprilia is officially supporting the team, though no one officially from Aprilia attended.
Nitro Nori successfully stirred up some interest by saying, “I’m not worried about Max Biaggi! I think I can start winning again with this bike, and try to reach my goal of 60 career wins. Then I can retire…I’m aiming for the title, but my first objective will be to beat the factory Aprilias.”
Biaggi is, of course, the reigning World Champion in WSBK, and both he and Haga will race for Aprilia in 2011, with Biaggi and teammate Leon Camier are riding for the official factory team. Haga did not have a good 2010 season, finishing sixth overall. The 2010 season was a disappointment after Nori-Chan narrowly losT the 2009 Championship to Ben Spies, who has replaced Valentino Rossi at the factory Yamaha MotoGP team for 2011. A veteran hunting down an elusive championship, Haga sounds more sure of himself now than he did throughout much of the 2010 season.
The team is based near Venice, in the Verona town of Pressana. They head to the official Infront Motor Sports test at Portimao, Portugal with much of the rest of the 2011 World Superbike field next week.